The War Room

Need advice - Difficult Position

I was recruited about 6 months ago to make a jump into an Enterprise role and did not hesitate leaving somewhere I was happy because the base salary was 40k higher than what I had. However, when I started there was zero on boarding, zero training and zero guidance to learn how to sell a very complex software in a complex (Federal) environment. I have had to essentially train myself on the software but they are big on (direct quote) "getting the PO and then innovating." This essentially means I am selling solutions that do not exist and aren't built yet, on top of all the other challenges. I now feel stuck because I am getting a high base but feeling hamstrung to actually succeed. I have began interviewing and all the questions these days seem to revolve around attainment and quotas. Would honesty be the best policy with recruiters or has anyone had a similar experience trying to escape a situation like this?
๐Ÿง  Advice
๐ŸŽฏ Career Development
โœŒ๏ธ Growing Pains
They call me Daddy, Sales Daddy
Iโ€™d say โ€œI was doing great in my previous position and made a jump for money which landed me in a not so great place. Iโ€™m now correcting that.โ€ Thatโ€™s all you need to say.
Enterprise Account Executive
Minor tweak: "made a jump to explore and exciting opportunity for growth"
Blow it up
You don't mention any quote and attainment for the current role, so not much to go on here.

My quota is floating, and like many I'm sure, is never based on reality. I try to get around this question by explaining how much I've grown sales vs. those before me, what steps I've taken to secure market share, strategic partnerships formed and innovations I've led.

I guess the real question is do you want to leave? If you got the support you feel you need would that make you want to stay? If yes, then push hard for what you think you need to succeed.
Head of Sales
Exactly this. And it's a great tack to take.

You need to figure out what you really want, and if so, you need to be able to tell a compelling story about what happened and why you're leaving,
SaaS Eater
You have a super high base, is it worth sacrificing the next quarter to really learn the product and build out a sales process you think you can make work? Is there anyone else succeeding at your current company?ย 
Sales Director
I really empathize with your current situation. However, I have learned it the hard way, no matter how established organization you join, on-boarding and learning is in your own hands. Youโ€™ll have to pick up the slack and make it work. You canโ€™t blame the company for it. You are equally responsible. <br><br>Secondly, during your interview process keep your responses more around the uniqueness of the job opportunity that you are applying for and how intriguing it is that itโ€™s making you apply within your first 6months of your joining. Confidence is the key. Itโ€™s not what you respond, it about how you respond to it. There are people in the sales industry who have switched roles every 6-8months. <br><br>Keep your cool, stay positive and all the best. We are here to help. Keep us posted.
Praised Answer
1. Start training yourself. Books, webinars, whatever.

2. Start interviewing. Itโ€™s going to take a while to find the right thing.ย 

3. Take as many interviews as you can get.

4. Think of any interview you have as practice, not the promised land.

5. Write down everything you wish you had gotten in onboarding and training. Then during your interviews show your leader the list and ask them what percentage of this do they offer as part of your ramp?ย 

6. when asked โ€œwhy leavingโ€ simply say, โ€œPromises made, none kept.โ€

7. Donโ€™t give them your onboarding list til they hire you if they ask you for it.ย 
Enterprise Account Executive
Yeah that's a difficult spot.

Honesty is definitely best policy here.
Enterprise Account Executive
I would for sure be open with recruiters. "i was very excited about the compensation and may have over looked some red flags. I have learned alot from this situation and will not make that mistake again."
Old School Bravo
Enterprise Account Executive
Honesty is the best policy here however DO NOT say anything negative about your current company. If you call your company a red flag thst makes you a red flag. People understand that job changes happen but if they think youโ€™re entitled or that youโ€™ll talk shit about them when you โ€œleave againโ€, thatโ€™s enough to give your application a pass.

Find something you donโ€™t like about your current role that is outside of you and your companyโ€™s control . For example when I was in cyber security I talked about how GDPR laws in the UK created a better fit for our product than the US because we care less about data privacy here
Head of Operations
I am not a recruiter. I assume that the recruiter is delivering the information they have been given by the company.
As for your current situation, I would say thisโ€ฆ Get out. A company that throws a huge base salary at you and then expects you to go out and immediately land large complex deals sounds like a company that burns through sales people such as yourself.
Does the company in fact turn through sales teams? Did you ask or can you look around and see?
We all have to train ourselves on certain things from time to time and this is not news. However, companies that expect miracles without providing support in my experience are simply looking for the occasional home run with some on base at bats before the sales person leaves.
Recruiter at Feed Media Group
As a recruiter, if you shared exactly what you have shared here I would definitely hire you! This happens often. If you end up somewhere that's not a good fit LEAVE, you shouldn't feel tied down. Transparency and perspective goes along way, being able to talk the recruiter through why you're leaving is the best thing that you can do. From your example, I'm hearing that your expectations aren't being met from what was originally shared with you during the job search. Additionally, you are persevering despite the lack of training and support which shows your ability to deal with ambiguity and is a testament to your work ethic.ย 
Enterprise SaaS AE
Made a change for personal growth but with the challenge of the current landscape the team has been struggling to hit their numbers
Good Citizen
Strategic partnerships manager
Just say you hit quota dude. Itโ€™s great but I really have passion for YOUR company.
Coach and mentor to Enterprise AEs
You never want to be dishonest with your customer, but you can still accomplish what management wants if you are upfront about what you can do today vs what you can deliver after the agreement. There is some truth that every need can be solved with SMOP and SMOM (Simple Matter of Money and SMO Programming).

That said, if you are committed to leaving, I would personally say "My current company has shifted to a more salary-oriented comp plan. That type of plan fits some of our sellers but doesn't excite me. The work isn't about attainment and quotas but about feet-on-the-street. I want to be someplace that I can contribute so I am looking for a better fit ..."

I think I would accept this in an interview. Remember that HR doesn't matter. Connect with the hiring manager any way you can and deliver your PRACTICED speech.

Stay away from the "I wasn't trained ..." In the big leagues, you make your own way. Next time, make a 100 day plan on your very first day. Meet the most successful reps and get them to mentor you. Put that info into your plan. YOU train you, not your company. First 100 day plan is probably a good discussion to have here.

Coach Craig
Business Coach
Pachacuti and braintank gave solid advice.ย  Remember that an interview goes both ways... understanding the expectations of a role and the tools available are on you... if you used a recruiter, they should have helped in that area... lesson learned. Nail this one!
Valued Contributor
Account Executive, Federal
Thank you all for the great advice. This has been very helpful and most importantly given me piece of mind.
Personal Narrative
It seems like you're basically going from post-founder-led sales to something closer to founder-led sales. When a startup is just getting up and running, a founder needs to be quite entrepreneurial, listening to customers and designing solutions to fit their needs. That's quite different from 'executing' a proven sales model and/or scaling a sales team. If you're planning on staying, I'd look into entrepreneurial sales guidance online focused on finding product-market fit.ย 
Lazy manager (need your advice)
Transition to AE in May - Need Advice
Need advice on a job you're interested in?